CRN Supports DHA for Pregnancy, Counters JAMA Study

October 22, 2010

In light of the findings of an October 19 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study that found that fish oil docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) does not aid against postpartum depression, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) says that a strong body of scientific evidence does support DHA’s use throughout pregnancy.

In light of the findings of an October 19 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study that found that fish oil docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) does not aid against postpartum depression, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) says that a strong body of scientific evidence does support DHA’s use throughout pregnancy.

CRN says that more research should be done to determine the effects of DHA on postpartum depression and fetal brain development.


“A large body of scientific evidence has established a strong relationship between the DHA status of mothers and infants and a variety of important pregnancy-related outcomes, including infant development,” says Duffy MacKay, CRN’s vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.


MacKay pointed out some study flaws, saying that the subjects’ DHA levels were not measured pre-pregnancy or when they were evaluated for depression. DHA levels were also not measured in infants at 18 months, when they were studied for neurological outcomes.


“Without measurements of DHA status, it is difficult to draw conclusions from the study and certainly should not provide definitive advice to consumers,” he says.


Read the association’s full response here.